for the inferior, as they may fall below the grade of first class. Payment of whatever amount may be awarded to be made in the old issue of Treasury notes as circulated before the 1st of April, or else in the new issue, but with a deduction in such cases of 33 1/3 per cent. from the additional sum allowed in each case.
E. W. HUBBARD,
WM. B. HARRISON,
Commissioners for Virginia.
Adjutant and Inspector-General.
All appeals and communications for the Board of Commissioners should be addressed to D. Saunders Chilton, secretary of the Board of Commissioners of the State of Virginia, Richmond, Va.
WAR DEPARTMENT, ENGINEER BUREAU,
Richmond, Va., May 7, 1864.
Hon. JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War:
SIR: I have the honor to report that I have visited and carefully examined the Piedmont Railroad in order to ascertain from personal inspection its features and condition, and whether the Government could furnish any aid which would materially hasten the completion of the road. The Piedmont Railroad is forty-eight and three-tenths miles in length, the heaviest grade coming northeast, sixty feet to the mile. In an opposite direction, that of least transportation, and therefore no great disadvantage, there is a grade on temporary track of 106 feet, the maximum permanent grade being only 68. The necessity of rock cutting, combined with the scarcity of blasting powder, led to the adoption of the temporary track. The road is completed to a distance of thirty-one miles from Danville, where there is a break between iron and iron of four and a half miles, the rest of the road to Greensborough being completed. On this break the grading is practically finished, although there are still cross-ties to procure as well as stringers for Haw River bridge. The road will be opened, probably, by the 20th instant, or 25th at latest, and I do not know of any available labor at the disposal of the Government which would materially hasten the time of completion. The Quartermaster-General has been called upon for some assistance in hauling, which he has cheerfully promised, and the Engineer Department has been able to assist by supplying additional tools, principally axes. I found the road thoroughly well and intelligently located and constructed, in consideration of the times, and the company's force, although not large, energetically and satisfactorily employed, under the immediate and constant personal direction of the chief engineer, Captain E. T. D. Myers, of the Engineer Corps. It gives me the more pleasure to be able to make this statement after personal inspection and conscientious conviction, as there is and has been much misapprehension. Few persons but those who have made the attempt have any conception of the innumerable difficulties which retard the completion of a great work of internal improvement in these disjointed times.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. L. RIVES,
Colonel and Acting Chief of Bureau.